Monckton tried to blink. His eyes were gritty and he could barely focus on the scribbled formulae on the pad before him — his crucial contribution to the redesign of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. The tiny screen of his Osborne transportable computer blinked lazily at him. His back was sore. The air in No 10 was very dry, and there was a racket going on outside the Cabinet Room. It sounded as if the functionaries were running every vacuum cleaner in Whitehall over the new dark blue carpets the blessed Margaret had installed. The scruffy red shagpile left by Callaghan was in a skip in Downing Street, and the Laird was glad to see the back of it. He was rather pleased with the shade he’d chosen, and even happier that Margaret had liked it. The shining light of modern conservatism entered the room, her bright halo and blue crimplene dress throwing a magical illumination onto the oak panelling. She strode to Monckton’s side and put her hand on his shoulder. A frisson of almost erotic excitement coursed down his spine and disappeared down a trouser leg. He dressed to the right.
“Chris. Wake up.” He opened his eyes and the recurring dream turned into the stuff of nightmare. The whiskery face of Bryan “British” Leyland, his devoted minder on this barnstorming tour of New Zealand, leered beerily into his face. Every bump of the ageing Toyota ute brought Leyland’s face ever closer to the Laird’s nose. He recoiled, elegantly.
Continue reading “Monckton and the big waka”
Hot Topic’s NZ election 2011 series continues with an excellent piece by Dr George Laking, an Auckland-based medical oncologist. George is a member of OraTaiao: New Zealand Climate and Health, a group of senior doctors and other health professionals concerned about the effects of climate change on population health. This article first appeared in the NZ Herald on Nov 17th.
This month the International Energy Agency published its latest World Energy Outlook. It says if high-carbon energy investment continues for more than five years, atmospheric carbon dioxide will unavoidably overshoot 450 parts per million and global warming will exceed 2C. The agency’s chief economist says “I am very worried – if we don’t change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum. The door will be closed forever .”
The IEA is not a fringe organisation, and it is not alone in accepting the scientific work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The World Bank says “The countries of the world must act now, act together and act differently on climate change.”
Senior officers from the UK Ministry of Defence identify climate change as “an immediate, growing and grave threat” to global health and security. Leading international medical journal The Lancet calls climate change “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”. Risks include extreme weather events, loss of food and political security, and increased range of infectious diseases. The World Medical Association has urged doctors to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Continue reading “We must change the way we think about the future, now”
Today could be viewed as an historic day for Australia, where the carbon tax has just today been voted through the Senate. Historic, yes, because it’s taken 20 years for Australia to finally implement this legislation. Finally, a price has been put on carbon in Australia. O my, what a fight it has been. If the NZ Herald thought Robyn Malcolm’s attack on John Key at the weekend was “vitriolic”, I’m not sure how they’d label the toxic politics across the ditch.
Tony Abbott has vowed in blood to repeal the package. He’s been obsessed with blood, baying for Julia Gillard’s all year. But it doesn’t seem to have got him anywhere — his unpopularity has reached new heights today, according to a news poll today.
I’m not going to go into the details of the tax and how it compares with NZ, as Mr February has covered that far better than I ever could in two excellent blogs here and here.
The tax has rallied the right. And boy have they rallied, with anti-carbon tax rallies up and down the country, festooned with abusive placards like “ditch the bitch” – and much, much worse. At one point even Tony had to distance himself from these, his most avid supporters.
Continue reading “Baby steps: Australia’s carbon tax passes Senate vote”
The schedule for “potty peer” Christopher Monckton’s visit to New Zealand next week has now been finalised. He’ll be visiting Auckland, Wellington and Whangarei, but there’s no sign of any of the high-profile debates his sponsors were so keen to set up. ACT party leader Don Brash is joining in the fun, accusing the Greens of being “yellow” (geddit?) for refusing to debate with the good Lord:
Apparently the Greens are prepared to cripple our economy and condemn us all to subsistence living with dopey measures designed to stop the planet warming, but they’re not prepared to debate their reasons for doing so with a reputable opponent.
Brash considers Monckton reputable? Really? That reflects very poorly on Dr Don, unless he considers that a reputation for misrepresenting scientific research and calling his opponents Nazis or Hitler Youth is somehow respectable. Perhaps that sort of thing is now de rigueur on the extreme right…
One of the stranger aspects of Monckton’s visit is that the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) is organising two of his appearances, in Auckland and Wellington. A little digging into the background of the PRINZ events reveals tantalising hints that fossil fuel interests in New Zealand could be tacitly supporting the potty peer’s short tour.
Continue reading “Rash Brash and the potty peer’s PR pratfall”
The new leader of New Zealand’s far-right ACT Party — the former National Party leader, Don Brash — has confirmed that he’s a fully paid up member of the climate clueless™, a worthy successor to Rodney Hide, and perfectly on side with major ACT Party backer, millionaire Alan Gibbs (who just happens to be on the policy advisory panel of the International Climate Science Coalition). But Brash hasn’t troubled himself with working on a new script for his climate denial, he’s retreading some of the oldest canards in the denial play book. In a speech this afternoon to the annual conference of Federated Farmers, Brash trotted out this remarkable sequence of untruths, half truths and straightforward lies, annotated below for your reading pleasure…
Continue reading “Don Brash: climate clueless™ to the core”